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LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!

LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!

 

 

 

 

 

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL! Nope! I’m not French – just from Louisiana and you know what today is don’t you? It’s Mardi Gras of course!

This probably scares little kids!

This probably scares little kids!

I remember the first Mardi Gras I attended. I was about eight or nine years old and we had just recently arrived back in Louisiana from Alaska. I seriously doubt we had gone to any Mardi Gras celebrations there. Those floats would have had to had snow skis attached and beads would have been frozen in midair. And the baring of breasts? Not going to happen in Alaska!

Heck, I had never heard of a king cake. You know – the cake with the little plastic baby the size of your pinky finger hidden inside? You don’t want to bite down on that in your forkful. Aside from maybe breaking a tooth you are required to provide the cake for next years celebration.

Don't get the baby!

Don’t get the baby!

Getting back to my first encounter with Mardi Gras I’ll let you know – I don’t think I was very impressed. My favorite aunt – Aunt Letaine – decided these poor little bedraggled Alaskan homesteaders needed some culture. So off we zipped to New Orleans to get it. Besides myself there were my two older sisters, Naomi and Debbie and my younger cousin, Tara. That made four to Aunt Letains one, but she took it in stride being the traveler she was and loved every minute of it. Maybe not every minute. She never let on though.

Oh, we traveled in style making the four hour trip in her husbands new Cadillac. Now Uncle Rigsby loved his cars and was always upgrading as soon as something new came on the market. We were slip-sliding on seats of the very best leather for I don’t remember being restrained by a seat belt at that time. It was practically unheard of in the early 60’s to ‘buckle up’.

And the windows! They were electric. I of course had never seen an electric window. We didn’t have any of those in that Alaskan wilderness. A few hours into the trip – in fact we were almost there – Tara and I had a dueling fight over the window. She was about four or five and was determined she was going to have control of that window. And she was a bit spoiled. You didn’t want to cross her. Even she will admit to that now. 🙂 I was sitting next to the window and having none of that from her this time. I was older and intended to hold my own in this battle. In the course of our squabble she pressed down hard on that up button before I had time to snatch my finger from its jaws!

I remember screeching Bloody Murder as loud as I could and Aunt Letain whips her head around to the back seat with that glare she was good at scaring us with. Of course Tara insists she had nothing to do with it and I insist she did. With the promise of a bandaid a few miles up the road I lean back into my corner whimpering like a whipped pup and Tara settles herself into the middle spot on the back seat. I don’t know why she was sitting back there anyway because she usually rode shotgun in the front seat of honor!

That last half hour of the trip I fretted about my finger. Don’t think Aunt Letain wasn’t caring because she didn’t apply the brakes and pull off the side of the road immediately.  She knew very well that it wasn’t  a major accident and the window had only caught the fleshy part of my finger. It wasn’t broken, but there was blood and to me that was major. You would have thought there would be a bandaid in that car with Uncle Rigsby being a doctor, but that wasn’t the case.

When we arrived in New Orleans and pulled up to the Roosevelt Hotel and left the car to be parked Aunt Letain hustled us to the front desk and inquired about a bandaid before even checking us in. A few minutes later I was a happy camper. Isn’t it amazing what a bandaid can do for kids? I do still have a scar on my finger from that little accident though. ;(

Roosevelt Hotel in the 60's

Roosevelt Hotel in the 60’s

Now that I think about it I don’t remember much about my first Mardi Gras parade. A few floats making their way down the street in front of the hotel and maybe a handful of beads. I don’t think it was as wild back then as it is these days.

I do remember the grand Roosevelt Hotel and going to the Blue Room to watch the Andrews sisters perform and having my first Shirley Temple. It wasn’t the performance I remember, but the fact that they were famous and I had a front row seat with a drink in front of me! Wouldn’t my classmates be jealous?

The Andrews Sisters

The Andrews Sisters

That was my first Mardi Gras parade and was very low key compared to my last. Maybe I’ll tell you that story one day!

!!!!!!!LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!!!!!!!

~Elle

 

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About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress.

24 responses »

  1. Just read this again. Love Aunt Letaine. Reminds me of my Auntie Ida 🙂

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  2. Elle, I remember a trip we took cross-country from California to Florida (along the southern route) and coming through New Orleans during Mardi Gras. But I too, remember it being much tamer for some reason back then. Now, it seems to be one gigantic party. I also remember having seat belts but never using them. Definitely a different time.

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  3. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme.

    Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz answer back as I’m looking to create my own blog
    and would like to know where u got this from. cheers

    Like

    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by. Your comment has been hung up in my spam folder for some reason. Acck! I think I have it fixed now. I made my own website. It’s a WIP. Every day I think of something new I want to do. WordPress makes it pretty easy. I use the Liquorice Theme. ~Elle

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  4. Loved those trips with Aunt Letaine! Her birthday was on the 16th. She would have been 92. Precious lady. You are the one who inherited her laid back ways. Rob took the two Natalia’s to visit her when she lived in New Orleans. They decided she would have made a good First Lady! I agree! Thanks for posting these memories.
    Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Anyway, I plan on finishing the halloween costume and adding more parts in the
    future, nevertheless please enjoy a few photos from Comic Que
    incluye!

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  6. What a trip. Reminds me of the trip we took in 1954 driving from Austin, TX to NYC.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. You will find a comment for this on your previous essay I also read…forgive my blundering. I’m from Connecticut…so half naked women unnerve me since it’s in my blood and the shock makes me stare, so rather than look mortified, I come off more enthralled. Like staring at an accident you didn’t really wish to see.

    As I said in the wrong piece…great essay.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  8. We are living in a bubble! Beautiful photography…photos are wonderful in capturing a moment in time.

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. Nice! Seat belts? What were those?

    It took Ralph Nader and his crusades to D.C. To finally get the Industry to change. Was it a good thing? Maybe? .. Probably!

    Electric windows these days, stop the moment they sense resistance and then start to descend. My car has leather seats, also. Which, I would of preferred not.

    Most cars in 50’s and 60’s had leather seats. Fabric was not even considered. . Due to it’s then, lack of durability.Then came pleather and now various man-made materials Today leather is considered a luxury, go figure? … Give the people what they want. Cheers Jamie.

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    • Those windows definitely did not have sensor control! And I’m sure that car had seat belts. We just weren’t required to wear them. 😉 ~Elle

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      • Classy!!

        Strangely, or not? Lots of people today do not wear the belts. My ex. would not let me move the car unless I buckled up. Today it is second nature. Hat’s off to her, for that.

        Caddy’s were solidly built but burned about a gallon of fuel, every 7-10 miles. I had a boat in 1980’s, that would do the same. Love the way manufacturers would add on twenty bucks of webbing and a buckle for a few hundred extra. The radio likely had FM too? Just few stations. To capture the signal from. Yup, those were the days? Cheers Jamie

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  10. Yes, I bet they’re a WHOLE lot wilder now than they were back then. The Andrews Sisters! Oh my. I loved them. And my favorite song of theirs is probably everyone else’s favorite, too, “The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B.” What an awesome memory.

    Liked by 2 people

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